Ireland day 0134. Wednesday 09 February 2022- Aldi!

Ireland day 0134. Wednesday 09 February 2022- Aldi!
Today’s summary Running and language lessons in the morning, then walk to Aldi in Swords along the coast path in the afternoon and no 102 bus home
Today’s weather Bright with light westerly breeze.   Sun in the morning, more cloud in the afternoon and a few drops of rain.   About 7C
Today’s overview location
(the red cross in a circle shows where Val and I are at the moment)
Close-up location
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s morning run and afternoon walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Demesne run and Swords Aldi walk

Today turned out to be busier than we had expected.   First thing (well when I say first thing I mean 9:30, which believe you me is unconscionably early as far as I am concerned) Val had her Irish lesson.  It lasts a full-on 90 minutes and so that gave me plenty of time to trundle round my now-favourite run in the castle demesne.   I added a twiddly bit to the route which brought it up to a neat 5km, which made it feel somehow more complete.  Val was still chatting incomprehensibly with her online tutor when I got back so I followed suit and did my Spanish homework while I was waiting for her to finish.

At this point Val decided she needed to go on a run as well (she is faster than me at the moment, I will openly admit – though note the emphasis on “at the moment“).   By the time she got back, we were both starving so decided to merge breakfast into lunch and have straight away the bacon sandwiches I’d actually been saving for later in the afternoon.

So the morning was a bit self indulgent but the day to day chores don’t go away just because you go for a run.   We soon realised that the bacon sandwiches had actually emptied the fridge of anything edible, so we realised that we had better turn our minds to getting something to eat.   But because Ireland is turning out to be so expensive, we thought we better try and re-stock our supplies as economically as possible, leading us to seek out the nearest Aldi for our weekly shopping.

Looking at the map, I realised that our closest would be in Swords but that to get there, we could actually go on foot along our favoured Broadmeadow Lagoon coast path, and then head up into Swords and explore the hitherto undiscovered Ward River Valley Park.

It turned out to be an interesting and enjoyable hike.   The spring flowers are beginning to come out and some of the public spaces have recently been planted with cheerful displays of primulas.   Then down by the coast, the tide in the lagoon was right out, which exposed more of the foreshore than you normally see – an interesting contrast to the last time I had passed this way, when the tide was so high it caused the coast road to flood.

We were soon away from the lagoon and into the suburbs of Swords (though Swords and Malahide are so close in reality they merge into each other).     The River Valley Park was much bigger than I expected, with a good path through it and a selection of gruesome looking fitness equipment installed at strategic points.   It was pretty quiet, despite its size, and may not be somewhere that you’d want to hang around in after dark.

Aldi is just up the road from the park, so we grabbed a trolley and headed round as painlessly as we could.   With a bit of judicious shopping we managed to get our next four meals for the two of us for €36.   Pretty reasonable and I think sadly we may have to do more economising like this as inflation soars (it’s affecting Ireland just like it seems to be hitting pockets everywhere).

Laden down with heavy bags, neither of us felt much like taking on the 12 km hike back to Malahide but fortunately the no 102 passes right by the supermarket entrance.   We just missed a bus but the 30 minute wait for the next one did at least give us time to get the trusty Thermos out (mmmm) and enjoy a couple of Wagon Wheels – a nostalgic treat which turned out to be particularly enjoyable as not only are they hard to come by, they were actually on special offer today.

Well, that’s your lot for today.   Not every day in Ireland involves absorbing a detailed history lesson or exploring a mountain wilderness, but if you try hard enough, it’s not too difficult to make every day – like today – a modest voyage of discovery, enjoyable just in its own right.


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Alongside the Broadmeadow lagoon en route to Swords.   The tide was the lowest I have ever seen it, and I wondered if the road on the other side might be completely exposed for once.   Although an interesting thought experiment, I lacked sufficient enthusiasm or interest to make the lengthy detour round the estuary to find out. Heading into Swords castle park.   We’ve been through here a couple of times before, though normally approached it from the path on the centre left
I wondered exactly how the Lord Mayor Severd his food Jelly Ear Fungus growing on a dead branch in the Ward River Valley Park this afternoon.   It’s edible, apparently, though takes a long time to cook as it is very rubbery.   And even if you persevere, it doesn’t actually taste of much
At last!   Bargains galore are within our grasp Not had these in years and they are lined up as a real treat for dinner tonight
And finally…
Google seems to have correctly detected that I am acting in a very Manly way at the moment and has helpfully sent me this targeted advertisement showing how I can become even more like a Real Man – and perhaps event sport a beard and sunglasses like the rugged example in the advert.   I was particularly interested in Lesson Three “How to be a 3% man”, mainly because I had no idea what it meant
Interactive map

(Elevations corrected at  GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )

Total distance: 11689 m
Max elevation: 48 m
Min elevation: -4 m
Total climbing: 295 m
Total descent: -256 m
Total time: 06:21:06
Download file: 20220209 corrected.gpx

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